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Penney’s ‘Hitler’ tea kettle billboard causes social media uproar

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — J.C. Penney on Tuesday turned to social media to deny that a tea kettle being advertised on a billboard on the 405 Interstate near Culver City, Calif., is intended to represent Adolf Hitler.

The buzz started when some motorists took pictures of the huge billboard advertising the tea kettle, part of the retailer’s new Michael Graves Design collection. They posted the photos, claiming that the kettle’s lid, asymmetrical handle, and saluting spout made it look like Adolf Hitler. The photos quickly went viral, ending up on several web sites, including the popular Reddit forum.

Penney responded to the uproar with good humor, using Twitter to proclaim:

“Certainly unintended. If we designed the kettle to look like something, we would’ve gone with a snowman.”

To see the billboard, click here.

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